Is my blog a reader friendly blog? I sure hope so and that is my number one goal as a blogger! Today I’m sharing what I deeply believe to be the top 3 keys to a blog being reader friendly.
Sometimes I think that bloggers (including myself) forget that non-blogger readers don’t really know some of our lingo and that many new followers may never have read a blog before. It’s true! Before I started blogging, I had read only one blog and didn’t know it was a blog. I just thought it was a great recipe site. And I have to admit that Google became my BFF as I took a flying leap into the world of blogging.
It’s like anything else, even church. We church goers have our own lingo and sometimes we forget that first time visitors don’t know what we are talking about and non church goers have no clue to what we are saying at all. So, sometimes we need to stop and look at things from their point of view.
I try to participate in lots of giveaways because I love to see people win things. When I encouraged a couple of friends to enter a particular giveaway, their reply was, “I tried but couldn’t figure it out.” I often get the following statement from people that have entered a giveaway, “I hope I did it right. I’m just not sure.”
When I wrote my One Word 2014 post, I included the webpage that started it all and I mentioned to a friend that I had included the original webpage by highlighting it and that she could click on the link to go to that website. She said, “Oh, I didn’t know I could click on the highlighted word and it would take me to another page.” Sometimes, we just assume that everyone knows and they don’t. And for those of you that don’t know, the link you click on is usually a different color. Mine is orange. And I apologize and bless your heart because I didn’t tell you.
So, today I’m trying to think like someone who has never visited a blog before.
I realize that content is the most important of all tips, but I assume if a person is blogging, they have something interesting to say. 🙂 And that’s all I’m saying about that!
Of course, I’ve only been blogging for a little over a year (1 year, 4 months to be exact, but who’s counting? Me!) and I certainly don’t claim to know it all or know much at all, but I have learned a few things. Here’s my top three:
1. If a blog is too messy, most readers just ride on by and keep on truckin’.
I once had a seasoned blogger comment that she “just loved my little ole blog.” I took that as a compliment because I keep it simple for a reason. I’ve visited blogs before and had to search for the post I was looking for. Honestly, there have been some blogs that had so much frou frou, I couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I left.
If I, as a blogger, can’t find the post I’m looking for, how do you think new readers feel? I’m beyond flattered when other bloggers love my blog, but I want non-bloggers to love it, too!
2. Don’t make your readers jump through hoops to comment!
If I must enter a non-spam code, a password, check here and click there every time I want to leave a comment, pretty soon I just say no. How do you think a first time reader will feel?
3. Want comments? Always end your post with a call to action.
We bloggers love to get comments! I can remember my first few posts that had zero, none, nada comments. I was a little disappointed. I wanted to know someone was reading. (I must add that my daughters and my sister eventually did comment, but I have a feeling they felt sorry for me.)
What’s a call to action? It’s asking a question or an invitation to comment. It’s asking for your reader’s point of view! And I have to confess that sometimes I still forget to invite my readers to comment.
I said from the get go that I would try my best to respond to every comment and if I haven’t, it’s because I missed it somehow.
Did you know that there is a search bar on the upper right hand corner of my blog so that you can search for a particular post or enter one word of a recipe and it should pop up?
Did you know that you can enter your email address right below the Welcome section in the upper right hand corner of this page and you will receive every one of my new posts delivered straight to your email? But, did you know that you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription and you must confirm it before you will receive my posts via email?
You can also follow along on Pinterest, Facebook and other social media by just clicking the social media icons at the very top right hand side.
Did you know that all the pictures I post can be pinned on Pinterest? When you hover over a picture, a small pin it button will appear in the upper left hand corner of the picture. Just click on it.
Did you know that you can print my recipes or print the entire post? There’s a print friendly button at the bottom of each post and a print button on just the recipe portion of the post.
One more thing
When I find a new blog I’m interested in, I immediately look for the author’s picture on the home page. I like to be able to put a face to the blog. I’m completely surprised by the number of blogs I come across with no picture or anything at all about the owner of the blog.
So, dear readers, it’s call to action time! Is there anything that you are confused about when it comes to reading a post? Believe me, there are no stupid questions.
Bloggers, what are your top keys to a reader friendly blog? I’m always looking for new tips!
Is there anything else you want to know? About my blog? About me? Just ask away!